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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking some opinions from some smart people. I am looking for a new laptop, and I am considering a dell 1505 or 1705. This is going to replace my desktop, and I will mainly use it for photo editing (photoshop). I have 2 LCD monitors that i want to use via a docking station (one vga one dvi).

Its been a while since ive looked at computer hardware, so im just looking for some opinions here.

my questions are:

1. Is it worth $75 to upgrade from intel core duo 1.60 Ghz, 2MB cache, 533mhz FSB to intel core 2 duo 1.66ghz, 2mb cache, 667mhz FSB?

2. Is it worth $100 to upgrade from 2gb shared ram to 2gb ram? Im not really familiar with shared ram.. Ive read that it can be shared by other processors in the system. Will this slow the system down?

3. Do I really need a 256mb video card for any reason? Im not going to be gaming. Other than photoshop it will just be for web/email/word/etc. I think the 128mb will be plenty.. just need to be sure it has vga and dvi out.

4. What is a good dock? I need dual monitor support (2 external monitors, not the laptop screen). Should I buy the belkin option that dell offers?

5. Is it possible to get it w/o all the software installed... It'd be nice to get a price break for not buying windows.

6. Any other suggestions? How bout coupons/deals? :)

Thanks for your help.
 

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Hi,

To answer your questions...

1. Depends. The Core 2 Duo has a faster speed and a better core. Since it is only $75, I would do it, but if you don't want to spend the extra money on faster performance on things like gaming and multimedia encoding, then you probably won't want to go for it.

2. What I am sensing is that that upgrade will get you a dedicated video card (GPU, or graphics processing unit). Shared RAM is when you have an integrated video card (IGP or integrated graphics processor), and that doesns't have any dedicated RAM (or only a little), and it uses the main RAM. Since you have 2 GB, having less RAM for applications won't really be a problem, bit if you are going to be gaming, then you will want the dedicated video card you will probably get.

3. 256 MB is a good amount for todays games, but what will help more is what video card it is. For example, a 256 MB GeForce Go 7900GS is much better than a 256 MB GeForce Go 7400. And if you go with a 128 MB video card, then I have a feeling you will get stuck with a low end Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900 or 950, which are fine for normal applications, but are horrible for gaming. If it says a shared 128 MB video card, then that is what it is.

4. IMO, docking stations are really overpriced and not worth it. Laptops have all the necessary ports, and if it doesn't happen to have the one you need, you can simply get an inexpensive adapter for the port for the one you need. Docking station s today are around $100, and that is just for PS/2, Serial, Parrallel ports. All the other ones on the docking station are already on the laptop. And even integrated video cards have monitor cloning that is sufficient for things like presentations, you only need multi-monitor for "extreme"multitasking. You can have "virtual" multiple monitors with a little utility that is free from Microsoft called Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager.

5. I can tell you that Dell or any other company will not offer a rebate or money off the price to remove the software. They are getting paid to put that software on, and for the most part, it is trial software that is only good for a certain time period after you buy the laptop. The best thing you can do is just uninstall the software that you don't want.

6. IMO Dell is overpriced a little. If you give a budget, we can recommend some good laptops for that price that may offer more, or laptops with the same features that are less money. Please post what you want to do with this laptop and what you want to be able to do, such as gamming, multitasking, watching movies/DVDs, running a 64 bit OS, etc.
 

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1. You will notice a small difference in the upgrade, but not much so really its up to you whether you want to spend the extra.
2. Shared Ram is hardware like your video card using up a small portion such as 128MB or 256MB. For your needs 1GB would be enough, but 2GB would give you faster booting speeds, and a notice in performance when multi-tasking, so that could be worth the upgrade, but it wouldn't matter to leave it how it is.
3. 128MB is fine only gaming and video editing will rely more on 256MB but then again no intergrated notebook graphics are great, but for you use it will do the job with ease.
4. Belkin is a good brand and i would expect a high quality from them, but i'm fairly sure they may be cheaper options around for the same standard.
5. If you ring up they may offer windows not installed but you would have to enquire as their hard drives may already have a pre-loaded edition.

6. The laptop will also work with Vista looking at the specs, maybe consider some of these laptops, i'm not sure about your budget so i'll list some of all prices to do the tasks you require.

I've listed dual core only notebooks as i take it your be running more than one application at once, so you won't get a performance drop.

AMD Dual Core:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834110218

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834147282

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115274

Intel Core Duo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834220117

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834114285
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks to both of you for your advice!

Really the only intense program I'll be using with this machine is photoshop and various plugins. I edit large (200-300mb) tiff files, and my current machine (intel p4 1.8ghz, 768mb ram) just cant keep up. I once timed the amount of time to save a file (running photoshop and a standalone "plugin" each with a tiff open) and it took 4 minutes -> unacceptable.

I'm assuming the main thing i need to upgrade is the RAM. My only requirement for the video card is that I can plug both of my LCD monitors into the laptop for dual monitors. If i can do that w/o a docking station, thats fine... I nice bright high resolution screen on the laptop is important too (photoediting).

I will look at those links from newegg. thanks everyone for your advice.

Oh, and my budget is $1000-$1500 max. The closer to $1000 the better, although the dell i was looking at was like $1475.
 

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Thats a very large Tiff file, at first i thought you meant the everyday use of photoshop. For that i would get a 256MB Graphics card, if possible dedicated would be nice, atleast 1.5GB of ram and a fast hard drive rotation speed.
 

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New Laptop

This is a great notebook, and it has VGA and DVI-D with multiple monitor support.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834220046
If you are willing to push the budget a little, this has a more powerful processor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834220086
a 1.8 GHz P4 doesn't pack a lot of punch, so both of these laptops will be a huge improvement over your previous laptop.
I just purchased a new Dell Inspirion 9400/E1705 with the T7400 2.16GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB, 17 inch Ultrsharp WUXGA, 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 Gs, 100GB 7200RPM SATA HD, integrated 10/100 Net card and modem, 8x cd/dvd drive, Sound Blaster Sound, Dell Draft N Wireless,Dell Bluetooth, 9 cell battery, McAfee Security Center and the Dell 4 year complete Care warranty, Microsoft Office Basic and CoPilot Navigator 9.

As of this morning this unit if purchased from Dell was approx. $3600.00 plus tax.

I purchased the package from ComputerSupermart on eBay for $2349.73 w/shipping and no sales tax. I received computer in 5 days from them. It would have been faster but I wanted Microsoft Media Center not the Pro Version so machine had to be ordered. I am satisfied with the machine and service from CompturerSupermart.
 

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I am looking some opinions from some smart people. I am looking for a new laptop, and I am considering a dell 1505 or 1705. This is going to replace my desktop, and I will mainly use it for photo editing (photoshop). I have 2 LCD monitors that i want to use via a docking station (one vga one dvi).

Its been a while since ive looked at computer hardware, so im just looking for some opinions here.

my questions are:

1. Is it worth $75 to upgrade from intel core duo 1.60 Ghz, 2MB cache, 533mhz FSB to intel core 2 duo 1.66ghz, 2mb cache, 667mhz FSB?

2. Is it worth $100 to upgrade from 2gb shared ram to 2gb ram? Im not really familiar with shared ram.. Ive read that it can be shared by other processors in the system. Will this slow the system down?

3. Do I really need a 256mb video card for any reason? Im not going to be gaming. Other than photoshop it will just be for web/email/word/etc. I think the 128mb will be plenty.. just need to be sure it has vga and dvi out.

4. What is a good dock? I need dual monitor support (2 external monitors, not the laptop screen). Should I buy the belkin option that dell offers?

5. Is it possible to get it w/o all the software installed... It'd be nice to get a price break for not buying windows.

6. Any other suggestions? How bout coupons/deals? :)

Thanks for your help.
Check out Dell Deals at computersupermart at Ebay. Prices are much better than Dell Direct. I have also been told that you can geet better prices from Dell by phone than on internet.
 

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Wow, that is one heck of a deal. When you get it, post how it runs.
Machine runs great, is fast. The only problem I am having is setting up my Netgear WGR614 Router. I am also having a problem shutting down, I have to go to the task bar and log off as user, then machine will shut down and start up..

It didn't act that way when I first received the machine. I had this problem on my old machine and when I transfered everything to the new machine using Laplink PC Mover the problem foolowed it. Do you have any idea whats wrong?

Thanks,
Phil
 
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